Many people have over-crowded or crooked teeth. For some, this results in the upper teeth sticking out and looking unsightly, in others it can mean teeth are pushed sideways, creating an uneven smile. Orthodontic treatment gently and gradually straightens your teeth. Orthodontics gives you a great smile, which can sometimes be achieved without the need to remove teeth. The procedure uses a wide choice of appliances including virtually invisible ones.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the use of fixed or removable appliances to correct alignment of teeth and bite. Braces are fitted onto the upper, lower, or both sets of teeth, depending upon the amount of correction required. They may be used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances. Braces apply continuous pressure to move teeth in a specific direction to bring about the right alignment and bite. The treatment period lasts from as little as 6 weeks to three years, depending on the level of movement required and the type of brace that is used.
Who can benefit from Orthodontics?
It's important to visit a dentist or an orthodontist to discover whether you could benefit from orthodontic treatment. Diagnosis will vary, and can include examinations, taking models of your teeth, x-rays and more.
Some of the conditions that require orthodontic treatment include:
There are too many teeth for the space in your mouth.
The upper front teeth are too far forward - they stick out over the lower teeth.
The lower teeth are too far forward, or that your upper teeth are too far back.
- Open Bite
You may have problems with the space between your teeth when they bite together, either between the front or the side teeth.
Your upper teeth don't come down slightly in front of your lower teeth when you are biting together normally.
Your teeth may have gaps between them, perhaps because some teeth are missing, or that your teeth just don't fill the space in your mouth. There are a number of reasons for a bad bite to develop and cause problems when chewing or talking. This could be due to damage to the teeth that have been fractured or knocked out. It can also come about due to prolonged thumb sucking, causing the upper teeth to stick out, or it can happen due to tongue thrusting.
Types of Braces
In the past, patients looking for straight teeth had to opt for a fixed wire brace which would be constantly worn for upwards of a year. Fortunately, due to recent innovations in dental technology, there are now more options for tooth realignment than ever before. These are some of the options available:
- Metal or Ceramic braces with brackets bonded to the teeth
Traditional silver braces are the most commonly known and popular style of braces. They have brackets that are excellent in design and functionality, that result in the most efficient and precise movement of the teeth. They can also be decorated using colour combinations and patterns as preferred by the user.
- Ceramic braces
Made of a high-tech glass-like composite material and are more expensive. They are quite strong and resistant to most stains, including those caused by foods, coffee, Coke, curry, smoking, etc.
- Invisible Braces
Invisible braces are ideal for those who do not have severe malocclusions. They comprise of custom-made treatment trays that have been computer-fabricated according to the jaw structure. They do not cause irritation to gums and are stain resistant. There are many different types of clear aligner systems such as Invisalign, Simpli5 and Clearstep.
- Lingual braces
These are attached to the back surfaces of the teeth. They are traditional metal braces with wires, but they are not visible from the front surfaces of your teeth and so have the advantage of being invisible to everyone else.
- Inman Aligners
The Inman Aligner is a newcomer to the market; it achieves rapid teeth movements and is used for problems related to minor movements of the upper and lower front teeth.
- Friction-free Damon braces
Damon braces offer a lower-friction solution to teeth straightening and boasts faster treatment times than traditional metal braces.